How to deal with teachers taking my ideas...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by newkgteacher, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Aug 23, 2015

    I didn't read the responses, but here's my thoughts:

    Who cares?

    "Oh no, someone else is using class dojo!!"

    It's not like you created the app ...jeeze.
     
  2. 49erteacher

    49erteacher Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I understand how you feel. This is unique to your classroom and you are sorry that it will no longer be unique.

    I am the only returning teacher to my grade level (with two new teachers). I am planning to go out of my way to share my ideas and collaborate. I like the idea of being able to help new teachers when I can.

    Yet, there is a new classroom management system that I am playing with (that I read about online), that I haven't shared. I have shared a piece of it, but I am not talking about the whole thing, because I want it to be special for my kids. Part of it is that I haven't even seen yet how it goes over, but I also want it to be my thing for now.

    If they ask for my advice, I will share what has always worked for me, but for now I want my special thing in my classroom.
     
  3. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I guess the lesson here is just to share what you're ok with others using as is. If you're not ok with it being used exactly how you do it, don't share it. If it's something you spent a ton of time on and you feel that you don't want it duplicated in another class (essentially no work on the other teacher's part), keep it to yourself. However, it would be nice (and I think very professional) of the new teachers (and veteran teachers) to ask permission to implement a creative and original idea (like the martial arts dojo) from the teacher who created before implementing it 100%, but that's the chance one takes for sharing all the details I guess. I've worked with teachers who will share everything and others who were very selective and possessive and private. Sometimes it was "I'll share this if you share that" kind of thing, which is fair. You have to decide at the end of the day what your expectations are and what you're ok with losing as your own. Anything you give away is no longer your own. And another thing is, once you give away documents, expect those to be shared with other colleagues. I have a huge mix of folders and documents from many other teachers I've worked with over the years and what I've found from online mixed in with my own stuff, and I'm sure I've shared much of it with other teachers. I will try and respect a teacher's wish to not share a particular project with other teachers (because this particular teacher only uses it for a certain level and doesn't want lower level kids having the project before they get to her), but that request is asked of me up front and I understand and agree to the conditions. It's not to say that if I leave the school I won't take it with me and possibly share it with other teachers in the future, because I may, because I own it now and it was given to me.
    At the end of the day, I would expect the professional courtesy of asking beforehand before someone implemented my intellectual property if it was something bigger than an activity or worksheet. I understand the time and work that goes into big projects and classroom management systems, so if I were to implement them, as a veteran teacher who gets it, I would ask first. I would assume if it was given to me I could without question, but I would still verify and talk it over.

    Now teachers: what do you do about another teacher ripping an idea from you without your permission or sharing of said idea? What if another teacher saw something you did in class and copied you? For instance, say OP had a colleague that saw her implement the martial arts thing in an observation or heard about it through a conversation, but OP did not share it personally with him/her, would that still be ok? Is grabbing an extra copy of something at the copy machine that you did not create ok to take and use in your own classroom? Must you wait for someone to share with you or ask first? I've worked with colleagues who were bothered/annoyed by other colleagues who would just take their projects without asking and implement as is (no changes - same rubric and everything and was clearly taken from the copy room without permission). Is our intellectual property no longer ours once it is off of our computers or in someone else's hands?
    Some teachers put their names on their worksheets/project, but anyone can copy a project and whiteout the name and it takes zero effort.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I'm glad I work somewhere where we do share a lot. Out one English teacher just put a bunch of stuff in our mailboxes that she thought we would like. We do sometimes see things on the copier and use it too. I like that we all teach relatively similar things in a similar way. It makes it much easier on the kids. I definitely don't care if someone uses my materials unless they are trying to teach the same stories or novels I teach, but that has never happened.
     
  5. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Since the teachers are new, they're using your already established systems and resources as a starting point. Eventually, they will branch out, learn new things, and create their own classrooms. Personally, I've always taken it as a compliment when others used my ideas/materials. I don't get why it's something to be annoyed about.
     
  6. newkgteacher

    newkgteacher Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Sorry, I guess I left more details out of my OP:

    I did not willfully share my ideas. My room is this year's "meeting" room for our weekly meeting and PD sessions because it is the most centralized location. So, when we had our first meeting, and everyone saw my section of the room dedicated to Class Dojo, they all hovered around it and asked questions. I thought they were just interested in the idea, and since I'm the Class Dojo Mentor for my school, saw it as an opportunity to discuss how it works. But, they saw my belt system, because it is displayed, and now they are using it.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Aug 24, 2015

    ^^^ I still don't think it's worth getting upset over.

    On the other hand, if you have the time and energy to stress over a new teacher using your Class Dojo idea; then you probably don't have any real teaching problems. Lucky you.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I'd thank the younger teachers for making sure kiddos come to you already knowing (and being excited about) your classroom management system, and be grateful that your previous students are going to have consistency to help them get off to a good start.
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 24, 2015

    It would have been nice if they asked to use your ideas. I would say never tell them "no" but it still pretty rude of them not to ask. There are a few teachers who hover around me when i'm making copies or something. They always want to know what I'm doing because they say I have the "good ideas". That's fine with me. They sometimes ask for a copy of what I have and of course I share. It's not even really out of the ordinary stuff but some teachers are just not that creative on their own and need some help at times.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2015

    You have two options--either let it go or do something about it. If you don't want others using your ideas, find another place to hold your meetings so that no one else sees what is up in your room. If you do talk about ideas, make it clear that you don't want anyone else using them. If another teacher asks you to explain your system, or any other ideas, explain if you want to, but tell them you don't want anyone else to do the same thing. You probably will, however, come across as being selfish and as someone who isn't a "team player". However...if it bothers you so much, you'll need to take that stand.
     
  11. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2015

    She's a new teacher, and she wants to prove herself. Perhaps you don't remember what it is like to be a new teacher... I'm sure it is just about how nice it would be to get acknowledged for whatever it is you're doing. After all, you don't put money in the tip jar if the person isn't watching (e.g. George Costanza).

    I hear you, newkgteacher. I'm all-for sharing ideas, and 99% of the teachers I know are too. But there is something to be said for a simple acknowledgement, which I'm guessing was missing. Don't worry about it.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 24, 2015

    No offense meant, but if she is going to refer to herself as the veteran of the group, she doesn't get to play the new teacher card.

    I work with a teacher who is teaching science, but really isn't qualified based on the course work. However, the state is calling this teacher qualified under an old system, so this teacher works with me. If I want the students to have consistency across the board, I need to help the other science teacher get up to speed, and the one thing that accomplishes that is for me to share my plans, hook, line, and sinker, without possessive feelings that something is being taken from me, or stolen.

    I find it petty that OP wouldn't mind sharing the exact same ideas with teachers from a different school, but begrudges the new teachers for using what she showed them. OP needs to grow up and accept the responsibility of nurturing new, younger, or less experienced teachers. We all have different talents, and I am a wiz at finding resources, and I don't care who uses them - I would rather see them in practice instead of just a project I may get to "someday."

    We don't live or teach in a vacuum, thankfully, because she stole or borrowed "her" great ideas from someone else.

    I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to OP and think that whatever dismay she originally had about her new teammates where using her ideas has changed to pride, pride that she is able to be the "veteran teacher" of the group. Trust me, someone will notice. Playing and working well with others is a very attractive quality, and I do this pretty well in my life, so I am certain it is possible. When we share knowledge, we grow a little ourselves. I, for one, would hate working in isolation, without being able to bounce ideas off of my colleagues.
     
  13. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Best post in this thread.

    Bolded the most important factor.
     
  14. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Totally agree with vickilyn! In fact, I immediately thought of a video I saw on YouTube where a teacher used a slightly different behavior system but it also involved various levels using karate belts/ colors. And obviously both of you took that from karate itself, so.... Lighten up. It's fine to feel momentarily upset about not being acknowledged but really everything in teaching is and should be fair game for the good of students.
     
  15. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I understand the original poster's issue.

    But I have to say....Definitely a great complement if they are loving your ideas and using them! You'll find a different way to tweak what you're using as you go too.

    Teaching is all about collaboration. I spent 2 weeks with other teachers this summer from different cities sharing/stealing/borrowing ideas. We collaborated over as much as we could to bring things back into our classrooms to try. We had teachers with 2 to 40+ years of teaching experience.

    I can't tell you how many ideas I came back with, but I know my teaching tool box is definitely fuller than it has been in the past 7 years that I've been teaching.

    Cheers to all those teachers willing to continue to pass on their knowledge and ideas to others. :)

    If we're teachers and not learning, why are we teachers?
     

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